Armagh GAA Round-Up

September 4, 2012 Armagh Senior Football Championship

Cross get the job done


Maghery’s chances of upsetting triple champions Crossmaglen Rangers came unravelled inside the opening minute as the champions goaled and went on to lead 1-7 to 0-1 after 18 minutes.  Credit to Maghery though, who then found their feet and were only 5 points in arrears at the short whistle thanks to a 24th minute goal from full-forward Stefan Forker. The opening score of the second half was quicker than that of the opening half from the champions but was followed by a barren 15 minute scoreless spell for them which allowed Maghery come within a green flag of the holders which was as close as they got mainly through their own wastefulness after hitting some very bad wides when in the ascendency.

Corner-back Paul Hughes was on the end of a 5 man move initiated by Aaron Kernan to rifle the ball to the net past a helpless Johnny Montgomery. Points from captain David McKenna, Stephen Kernan (super effort) and a fisted on from the elusive Mickey McNamee followed as Maghery were left reeling by the explosive start from the Rangers. Stephen Kernan and Stefan Forker (on 11 minutes) traded converted frees as the challengers got off the mark. A converted “45” from Tony Kernan was followed by a sublime point from brother Aaron with Mickey Mac weighing in with his second point of the night, to leave it 1-7 to 0-1. A second pointed free for Maghery from Aidan Forker was the game’s next score.

Powerhouse midfielder James Lavery fielded superbly in the middle enabling namesake David to link up with Conor Forker who then found Stefan Forker who calmly planted the ball low in the corner past Paul Hearty for a goal the game, as a contest badly needed. A Stephen Kernan free brought Rangers first score in 10 minutes followed by a brace of Maghery wides before Paul Forker ended the first half scoring with a point.

26 Seconds after the re-start Australia bound Francis Hanratty added to the leaders tally which then led to a Maghery period of dominance as the coasting Cross lost an awful lot of turnover ball. Points from Aidan Forker, two from Shea Tennyson had cut the lead to 3 points 1-9 to 1-6 midpoint through the half. Stephen Kernan increased the lead from a free immediately cancelled by a point from corner forward Anthony Nugent but Stephen Kernan landed his fifth point of the night to stretch the lead to four 1-11 to 1-7. David Lavery popped up from half-back with a Maghery point to keep a major score between them. Cross substitute Kyle Carragher got on the scoresheet with a point with 7 minutes left on the clock and in an instant had increased the lead to 5 points with his second score. Paul Forker bagged the challengers last point with 2 minutes remaining but super sub Carragher got his hat-trick to complete the scoring. The drama did not end there as Aaron Kernan took a sacrificial second yellow as he brought down a goalbound Kevin Nugent. Not for the first time in the game Aidan Forker pulled his goal attempt wide of the posts as the champions get the job done by advancing to the last four leaving themselves as usual with a lot of work to do.

Crossmaglen Rangers-S Kernan (0-5),K Carragher (0-3), P Hughes (1-0),M McNamee (0-2), A Kernan, T Kernan, D McKenna and F Hanratty (0-1 each)

Maghery- S Forker (1-1), A Forker 0-2, P Forker 0-2, S Tennyson (0-2), A Nugent (0-1), D Lavery (0-1

Culloville 0-10 St. Patrick’s 2-5

Culloville will certainly be feeling blue following this one point defeat because for three quarters of the game they looked like winners but that old adage of football “ goals win games” came back to haunt them as an outplayed St Pat’s pilfered 2 three pointers to put them clear at the games most crucial time

Wind assisted Culloville should have been further in front at the short whistle than their 0-6 to 0-2 lead as they also accumulated 8 wides. Colm Watters, John Kingham, Niall Rowland, Seamus Watters and Kieran Hatzer (*0-2) were the Culloville scorers to replies from Kieran Hoey and Pearse Casey. The loss of Colm Watters and Niall Rowland to injury did not immediately hamper Culloville who extended their lead with points from Hatzer and Padraig Caherty. But a first second half score from Gary McCooey changed the complexion and direction of this match. Gary fisted home the opening goal of the game 18 minutes into the half to set Pat’s on fire with points from Pearse Casey and Eugene Casey following within 5 minutes to leave it 0-8 to 1-4. Another long punt into the Culloville square saw McCooey produce a deft flick and the ball nestled in the back of the net and Pat’s were sensationally in front. Gareth Mackin added a minor and two efforts from Hatzer were not enough to rescue a shell shocked Culloville whose 11 wides came back to haunt them in the end of a match they should have won but such is football. Armagh Junior Football Championship Semi-Final

An Port Mor v Forkhill

The first Junior semi-final takes place on Friday night and features two teams who have impressed in reaching this stage of the competition. An Port Mor began with a very easy preliminary round win over Phelim Brady’s before ousting a fancied Crossmaglen Rangers Seconds following a replay 2-15 to 1-14. A quarter final test in the shape of Collegeland was passed 0-14 to 1-9. The Blackwatertown outfit boast a strong midfield in Mark Curran and Colin Holmes with full-forward Shane Nugent their leading marksman ably assisted by Michael Casey, Gary Crilly and Ciaran Donnelly.

Forkhill began with a big win over Corrinshego to set up a derby match with Killeavy Seconds in the quarter final. A 3-11 to 1-10 win for Forkhill sent them on their way to the semis. Michael Byrnes, at centre-half back attacks as well as he defends and is a key cog in the Forkhill armoury as is midfielkder Stephen Sheridan. An Port Mor’s last line of defence Liam Donnelly, Philip Casey and Gary Curran will have it all to do up against Jemar Halle, Ciaran Smyth and Darren King.

Forkhill have been putting up the scores in their victories whereas their opponents have ground out results. Firm favourites Forkhill will be getting their first real acid test in the championship to date in this semi final and will have to bring all of their A game to reach the final. Forkhill have the better firepower up front to overcome this tough obstacle in a game that will be a lot closer than many people anticipate.

Annaghmore v Tullysaran

Annaghmore have been the form team of the championship following 3 impressive victories over Belleek, Lissummon and Dorsey Emmets, a trio of tough opponents who were overcome with relative ease.

A scrappy scrambled goal proved decisive for Tyllysaran against St Patrick’s seconds in the quarter final which led to a 1-7 to 0-8 victory to set up a match with Derrynoose which was won 3-12 to 1-10.

Annaghmore look the better bet to reach the final because of their all round strength